MMA’s week out of the cage: UFC champ Dustin Poirier receives key to city in Lafayette

Social media has become a significant part of the sporting landscape. But few, if any, professional sports match the level of interaction and personal access provided by MMA.

In an individual competition in which nearly every athlete is chasing the same goal of financial success and championship glory, it’s important for fighters to provide insight into their lives in order to connect with fans and gain followings.

Although the life of a fighter often can be mundane and repetitive, there still are moments of interest that take place outside the cage, ring or training room. Here are some of the most interesting of those occurrences from the past week.

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Dustin Poirier’s big honor

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What an incredible day! Thank you Lafayette, La! 🔑🏛🖤⚜

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Weekly eats

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How I feel about eating salads… 🤬

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Birthdays anniversaries

Children of MMA

Activities and adventures

Random leftovers

The Blue Corner is MMA Junkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly serious, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.

Bellator signs ‘Pitbull brothers’ flyweight Ilara Joanne

A new member of the “Pitbull Brothers” team is on her way to the Bellator cage.

Bellator officials told MMA Junkie on Friday that 24-year-old Ilara Joanne has been signed to the promotion. Joanne will compete in the flyweight division, currently ruled by champ Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, and is expected to make her promotional debut later this year.

Bellator will be Joanne’s first experience on the international stage. She’s currently on a two-fight winning streak, after suffering a pair of back-to-back losses in 2017. Prior to that, Joanne (8-4) went on a six-fight winning streak, all of which were first-round finishes.

Joanne will be joining Bellator lightweight and featherweight champ-champ Patricio Freire, his brother and lightweight contender Patricky Freire and former bantamweight title challenger Leandro Higo in Bellator’s “Pitbull Brothers” squad.

On Friday, Joanne posted a picture of the younger Freire’s arrival home after a victorious dual-championship effort over Michael Chandler at Bellator 221 this past Saturday. (Via Instagram)

For more on the upcoming Bellator schedule, check out the Rumors section of the site.